11-8-2023 Statement Regarding Shaquille Taylor


Regarding the tragic shooting of Belmont University student Jillian Ludwig on November 7, 2023 –

On April 13, 2023, the Nashville District Attorney’s Office prosecuted Shaquille Taylor for Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon.

At a competency hearing on that date, three court appointed doctors unanimously testified that Mr. Taylor was incompetent to stand trial.  State and Federal law prohibit prosecution of persons found to be incompetent, so therefore Judge Angelita Dalton was mandated to dismiss the case.  Because the doctors did not find Mr. Taylor met the standards for involuntary commitment, he was released from custody on May 19, 2023.

Under Tennessee law, for a person to be involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, at least two doctors must have executed certificates that the person is suffering from a severe mental illness or developmental disability that causes the person to be a substantial risk of serious harm to himself or others.  The doctors must also find that there are no other less restrictive measures than commitment.

This nearly impossible standard impacts public safety.  The law must be altered to accurately balance individual needs with public safety.  At the same time Tennessee must provide more beds and staffing resources to handle dangerous individuals.

I will continue to work with the Legislature on these serious mental health issues.